Minnie Lansbury

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The Minnie Lansbury Memorial Clock, in Bow Road.
The restored clock, as seen in November 2016

Minnie Lansbury née Minnie Glassman (1889 - 1 January 1922) was an English leading suffragette and an alderman on the first Labour-led council in the Metropolitan Borough of Poplar, England.[1]

Minnie was the daughter of Jewish coal merchant Isaac Glassman and was the first wife (married 1914) of Edgar Lansbury, son of George Lansbury, mayor of Poplar and later leader of the Labour Party. After Minnie's death, Edgar married actress Moyna Macgill and became the father of Angela Lansbury.[2]

Minnie Lansbury became a teacher, and joined the East London Federation of Suffragettes in 1915. She was also chair of the War Pensions Committee, fighting for the rights of widows, orphans and wounded from World War I. She was elected alderman on Poplar’s first Labour council in 1919, after a change in the law allowed some women to receive Parliamentary suffrage[2] and stand as candidates.

In 1921, she was one of five women on Poplar Council who, along with their male colleagues including her father-in-law George Lansbury, were jailed for six weeks for refusing to levy full rates in the poverty-stricken area. Due to her imprisonment, she developed pneumonia and died in 1922. She was buried in the Jewish cemetery in East Ham.[3]

There is a Minnie Lansbury Memorial Clock on Electric House in Bow Road, Tower Hamlets that was erected in the 1930s. The Memorial Clock was restored in 2008 and re-fitted on Electric House. The clock was restored through a public appeal organised by the Jewish East End Celebration Society and the Heritage of London Trust. From the appeal the Heritage of London Trust raised over £13,000, which was given to Tower Hamlets Council to complete the restoration. Angela Lansbury was among those who made a donation towards the restoration of the clock. The restored clock, now painted green and gold, was officially unveiled in the presence of relatives of Minnie Lansbury and local people on Thursday, 16 October 2008.[4]

Minnie's name and picture (and those of 58 other women's suffrage supporters) are on the plinth of the statue of Millicent Fawcett in Parliament Square, London, unveiled in 2018.[5][6][7]


  1. ^ "Minnie Lansbury". Janine Booth. Retrieved 14 August 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Minnie Lansbury". Spartacus Educational. Retrieved 14 August 2017.
  3. ^ http://www.stevenwarren.co.uk/a1-auntie-nelllie-uncle-george-poplar-rates-revolt.htm
  4. ^ "Minnie Lansbury". Find A Grave. Retrieved 14 August 2017.
  5. ^ "Historic statue of suffragist leader Millicent Fawcett unveiled in Parliament Square". Gov.uk. 24 April 2018. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  6. ^ Topping, Alexandra (24 April 2018). "First statue of a woman in Parliament Square unveiled". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  7. ^ "Millicent Fawcett statue unveiling: the women and men whose names will be on the plinth". iNews. Retrieved 25 April 2018.

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